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24-11-2014

EP Plenary Session Newsletter 24-27 November 2014

What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ?

Highlights include:  
- Pope Francis to pay official visit to the European Parliament
- 2014 Sakharov Prize to be awarded to Dr Denis Mukwege
- Juncker to present €300bn investment package to MEPs
- MEPs to debate and vote on whether Palestine should be recognised as a state
- Parliament to vote on motion of censure on the European Commission

 
Draft agendaFollow the plenary liveEuroparlTVPress conferences and other eventsEP Audiovisual websiteEP Newshub
 

Pope Francis to pay official visit to the European Parliament

Pope Francis to pay official visit to the European Parliament

Pope Francis will pay an official visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday 25 November and deliver a formal address to MEPs at 11.15.

The Pope was invited by President Schulz, on behalf of the European Parliament, when he paid an official visit to the Vatican on 11 October 2013. The previous visit by a sovereign pontiff was on 11 October 1988, when Pope John Paul II delivered an address to MEPs in Strasbourg.

Ceremony Tuesday, 25 November

#Pope #PopeFrancis

Audiovisual MaterialTechnical briefing for journalists, 21.11.2014

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West), Sean Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)

 

2014 Sakharov Prize to be awarded to Dr Denis Mukwege

Dr Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist who specialises in treating victims of rape and extreme sexual violence, is this year's laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Dr Mukwege will receive his prize in Strasbourg in a ceremony on Wednesday at noon. A joint press conference with President Schulz will take place immediately after the ceremony, at 12.30.

Dr Mukwege, is one of the world’s leading experts in treating victims of rape and violent sexual aggression, and has founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he works and trains surgeons. He also pioneered arrangements for the social and moral reintegration of victims while they are recovering.

The shortlisted pro-European Ukrainian movement EuroMaidan will be represented at the ceremony by Yelyzaveta Schepetylnykova, a student representative in the EuroMaidan Council Presidium and Mustafa Nayem, an independent blogger and journalist. Dinara Yunus, daughter of Leyla Yunus, also shortlisted nominee will be present in the award ceremony

Sakharov Prize

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament to honour individuals or organizations who dedicate their lives to the defence of human rights and freedoms, particularly the right to free expression.

Ceremony:  Wednesday 26 November, 12.00
Press conference:  Wednesday 26 November, 12.30-13.00

#SakharovPrize #Mukwege

Sakharov Prize pageAudiovisual Material
 

Juncker to present €300bn investment package to MEPs

On Wednesday morning at 9.00, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is to present a €300 billion jobs, growth and investment package to Parliament. The presentation will be followed by a round of political group speakers.

The investment package should boost growth and reduce unemployment in the EU by fostering public and private partnerships, boosting lending capacity of the European Investment Bank and other EU lending bodies, and stepping up investment by member states in areas such as infrastructure and completing the single market.

President Juncker outlined the package when presenting the Commission’s policy priorities to Parliament in July.

Debate: Wednesday, 26 November
Procedure: Commission statement followed by debate

Political Guidelines for European Commission (15.07.2014)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent, (Midlands-North West)

 

MEPs to debate and vote on whether Palestine should be recognised as a state

The question of whether Palestine should be recognised as a state will be debated with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday afternoon. Parliament is set to vote on the question on Thursday.

Ms Mogherini recently called for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Debate:  Wednesday, 26 November
Vote:  Thursday, 27 November
Procedure:  High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Statement (with resolution)

#Palestine

 

EU budget: feedback and debate on fruitless talks with the Council

The outcome of Parliament’s fruitless talks with EU member states on changes to the EU budget for 2014 and the new budget for 2015 will be explained to the full house on Tuesday afternoon by Parliament’s EU budget negotiators.

EU member states tabled their negotiating position only the very last day of the three-week “conciliation” period allowed for Parliament and the Council to agree on the budget.. Parliament's priority was and is to reduce the growing pile of unpaid bills received from the member states for 2014.
As the conciliation period elapsed before a deal could be struck, the European Commission must now table a new draft budget, re-launching the budget procedure.
If there is no deal on the 2015 budget by 1 January 2015, the EU will have to run on “provisional twelfths”, i.e. one twelfth of the 2014 amount or that of the 2015 draft budget, whichever is lower, for each month.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 November
Procedure: Budget

#EUbudget

Press release on the failure of conciliation (17.11.2014)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West), Liadh Ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

 

Parliament to vote on motion of censure on the European Commission

A motion of censure on the European Commission as a whole will be debated on Monday at 18.00  in presence of President Juncker and the college of commissionners and put to a vote on Thursday. In order to dismiss the Commission, the motion would have to obtain a double majority: two-thirds of votes cast and a majority of all MEPs (i.e. 376).

The motion is being tabled by 76 EFDD and non-attached MEPs further to the "Lux leaks" plenary session debate with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 12 November. They wish to "confirm not to have any confidence in Mr Juncker as President of the European Commission and representative of the European Union in front of the citizens". (4)

Their signatures met the required threshold of one tenth of MEPs and were handed over to President Schulz on 18 November. Pursuant to rule 119 of Parliament's rules of procedure, the motion has to be debated and voted in the next plenary session. Forty-eight hours must elapse between the start of the debate and the vote.

Debate:  Monday, 24 November
Vote:  Thursday, 27 November
Procedure:  Motion of censure on the Commission
Press conference (if applicable)

#luxleaks

Motion of censureReview plenary debate on tax avoidance with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (12.11.2014)Rule 119: Motion of censure on the Commission

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West),

 

Climate change talks: the path from Lima to Paris 2015

Talks to be held in Lima next month should enable global partners to reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in 2015, so as to keep the world on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario, according to a draft resolution to be voted on Wednesday. MEPs will reiterate the pledge by the EU and its member states to step up contributions to the UN Green Climate Fund so as to mobilise $US 100 billion per year by 2020. A Parliamentary delegation, led by Environment committee chairman Giovanni La Via (EPP, IT) will be in Lima from the 5th to the 13th of December.

For MEPs, the 1-12 December Lima conference as an opportunity to set key goals ahead of the international agreement to be concluded in Paris (COP 21) in December 2015. The agreement should include clear steps for mitigation, adaptation and an implementation strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050 as compared to 1990 levels, says the draft text from the Environment Committee.

EU contribution

The draft resolution recalls the pledge made by the EU and its member states to step up funding for UN Green Climate Fund measures and jointly mobilise $US 100 billion per year by 2020, as part of their contribution to the December 2009 UN Copenhagen Accord aiming to keep global warming below 2°C. Other donors should do likewise,, it adds.

Developing countries

The text stresses that agreements on funding climate measures, technology transfer and capacity building will be essential to help developing countries. It also reiterates that both the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), must take steps to achieve satisfactory and timely results in line with the degree and urgency of climate change.

Debate:  Wednesday, 26 November
Vote:  Wednesday, 26 Novedmber
Procedure:  Non binding resolution

#COP20 #LimaCop20

Irish MEPS on this issue: Lynn Boylan, Sinn Fein (Dublin), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

 

Post-2015 development agenda: eradicating poverty and protecting human rights

Eradicating poverty, fighting inequalities, protecting human rights and making health systems sustainable are some of the key aims listed in a resolution on the post-2015 development agenda to be debated on Monday afternoon and put to a vote on Tuesday. The issue of child malnutrition in developing countries will also be raised in an oral question to the Commission on Thursday and a separate resolution to be voted the same day..

Ending poverty and protecting human rights should be the underlying theme of the global development agenda after 2015, says the draft resolution drawn up by the Development Committee.

Providing adequate nutritious food should remain a key aim under the overall goal of ending hunger, adds the other draft resolution.

2015 will be the European Year for Development marking also the replacement of the Millennium Development Goals agreed at the United Nations in 2000 by a new global framework for sustainable development.

Debate:  Monday, 24 November (global development framework)
                Thursday, 27 November (child malnutrition)
Vote: Tuesday, 25 November (post-2015 agenda), Thursday 27 November (malnutrition)
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution on post-2015 global development framework; oral question and non-legislative resolution on malnutrition

#post2015  #development #poverty #humanrights #undenutrition

Draft resolution on the EU and the global development framework after 2015 Draft resolution on child undernutrition in developing countriesOral question on child undernutrition in developing countriesProfile of Davor Ivo Stier (EPP, HR)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin),

 

MEPs to call for crackdown on violence against women

MEPs will ask the new European Commission what it plans to do to prevent gender-based violence against women in the EU on Tuesday, 25 November which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In February 2014 Parliament passed a legislative initiative resolution calling on the Commission to propose a draft law with binding instruments by the end of the year to protect women from violence.

In May 2014 the former Commission replied to Parliament's request that it did not consider it appropriate to table a legislative proposal to prevent and combat violence against women.

According to a 2014 survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), one third - some 62 million - of EU women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15.

As levels of protection of women against violence differ widely among the 28 EU member states, many MEPs believe that the problem must be tackled at EU level

Debate: Tuesday, 25 November
Procedure: Oral question to Commission (without resolution)

#violenceagainstwomen

Oral question to the Commission EP resolution on combating violence against Women (25.02.2014)Violence against women: an EU-wide survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (03.2014)Violence against women in the EU: State of play

Irish MEPs on this issue: Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)

 

Plans to prevent more deaths in the Mediterranean

MEPs will quiz the Council and the new Commission on their plans to prevent more deaths in the Mediterranean, a year after at least 360 migrants drowned off Lampedusa, on Tuesday afternoon. The need for more solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility among member states, for search and rescue duties to be duly fulfilled and for improved cooperation with third countries will be among the issues addressed by MEPs.

In a resolution approved last year, after the 3 October shipwreck off the coast of the Italian island, Parliament said that "Lampedusa should be a turning point for Europe", urging the EU and the member states to do more to prevent further loss of life at sea. Studies show that up to 22,000 lives have been lost in the Mediterranean over the past 26 years.

A resolution will be put to a vote at the December plenary session.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 November
Vote:  December plenary session
Procedure: Oral question to Council and Commission

#migration #asylum #fundamentalrights #Frontex #refugees

Oral question to the CouncilOral question to the Commission Press release - Operation Triton: Civil Liberties Committee Chair will push for inquiry into policies and resources utilised by member states in the MediterraneanEP resolution of 23 October 2013 on migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off LampedusaPress release - Migration: EU must act to prevent further tragedies, says Parliament (23.10.2013)
 

MEPs to quiz Commission on expulsion of migrants from Spain

Planned changes to Spanish law which would enable Spain to expel clandestine migrants caught entering its North African enclaves Ceuta and Melilla, without providing any legal or procedural safeguards for them, will be discussed with the European Commission on Tuesday afternoon.  MEPs question whether these “hot returns” are consistent with EU law and values and will ask whether the Commission is planning to take any action to address the practice.

On 6 February 2014, at least 15 migrants died in the waters off Ceuta after the Spanish Civil Guards fired rubber bullets and tear gas at them. A judicial investigation into these deaths is under way in Spain.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 November
Procedure: Oral question to the Commission, no resolution

#migration #asylum #fundamentalrights #Spain

Oral question to the Commission - Summary expulsions and the proposed legalisation of 'hot returns' in Spain
 

Deferring payments into the EU budget: Parliament is asked to fast track its opinion

Parliament is to decide on Tuesday whether to fast track its opinion on European Commission plans to allow some member states which owe the EU budget unusually large sums due to gross national income (GNI) data adjustments, to defer their payments. EU ministers have asked Parliament to give its opinion on the plans as a matter of urgency, so as to allow them to take effect on 1 December, the original deadline for payments.

The European Commission has proposed amending the EU Own Resources Regulation to help member states whose GNI revisions bound them to pay exceptionally high amounts within a tight deadline, i.e. by 1 December 2014.

Before the vote on whether to use the fast-track procedure, one speaker will put the case in favour, and another against. The chair or the rapporteur of the relevant committee might also make a statement. The vote will follow immediately, and if necessary, the President will schedule any subsequent debates and a vote.

The countries which owe according to the draft amending budget no. 6 are:

Bulgaria (7m)
Ireland (6.5m)
Greece (89.4m)
Italy (340.1m)
Cyprus (42.4m)
Latvia (6.5m)
Malta (13.1m)
Holland (642.7m)
UK (2.12bn)

Vote: Tue 25 November
Procedure: Urgent Procedure (Rule 154)

#EUCO #EUbudget

The Commission's proposal for a Council Regulation amending the Own Resources Regulation (12.11.2014)Rules of procedure: Rule 154 for urgent procedure

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West)

 

EU job-search aid for former workers at Finnish shipyard and French pigmeat firm

Parliament votes Tuesday on two applications for €2.35 million in EU aid to help find or create new jobs for workers made redundant by the shipbuilder STX Finland Oy and the GAD abattoir and meat processing plant in France. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid applications need to be approved by both Parliament’ and the Council of Ministers (vote on 25 November).

Votes: Tuesday, 25 November
Procedure: Budgetary

#EGF #Finland #France

Profile of Rapporteur: Petri SarvamaaProcedure FileProfile of Rapporteur: Anneli JäätteenmäkiProcedure File The Commission's EGF pageEP Research on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund 2014-2020
 

MEPs to quiz Council and Commission on EU employment and social measures

Questions as to how EU rules on equality, health and safety at work are being put into practice will be tabled in plenary debates on Monday evening and Tuesday morning with Council and the Commission representatives.  MEPs will also ask what the Europe 2020 strategy is doing to deliver jobs and social benefits.

These questions call for better monitoring of the Employment Equality Directive, measurable goals for the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020, and employment and poverty reduction targets for the Europe 2020 strategy.

Debate: Monday, 24 November (Equality Directive and Strategic Framework on health and safety at work) and Tuesday, 25 November (Employment and social aspects of the EU 2020 strategy)
Procedure: Oral questions with debate to the Commission and the Council (without resolution)

#EU2020 #employment #socialEU

Question for oral answer to the Commission: Implementation of the Employment Equality Directive (O-000074/2014) Question for oral answer to the Commission: The EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020 (O-000075/2014) Question for oral answer to the Council: Employment and social aspects of the EU2020 strategy (O-000076/2014) Question for oral answer to the Commission: Employment and social aspects of the EU2020 strategy (O-000077/2014) Procedure file - Employment Equality DirectiveProcedure file - The EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020Procedure file - Employment and social aspects of the EU2020 strategyEuropean Commission: Joint Report on the application of the Racial Equality Directive and of the Employment Equality DirectiveEuropean Commission: EU Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Strategic Framework 2014-2020European Commission: Europe 2020

Irish MEPs on this issue: Lynn Boylan, Sinn Fein (Dublin), Sean Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin), Marian Harkin, Independent, (Midlands-North West), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)

 

MEPs to decide whether to send EU-Canada passenger data deal to Court of Justice

MEPs vote Tuesday on whether the EU-Canada agreement on Passenger Name Records (PNR) should be referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for an opinion on whether it is in line with the EU treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights. The deal was signed by the EU Council of Ministers and Canada in June, but Parliament must give its consent before it can enter into force.

If Parliament approves the proposal tabled by the ALDE group on behalf of PNR rapporteur Sophia in't Veld (NL), the vote will be adjourned until the Court has delivered its opinion.

Vote: Tuesday, 25 November
Procedure: Rule 108 (6) on International Agreements

Motion for a resolution:Profile of the rapporteur Sophia in't Veld (ALDE, NL) Video recording of the debate on the EU- Canada PNR agreement in the Civil Liberties Committee (05.11.2014)
 

Debate on methodology and outcome of EU bank stress tests

MEPs will assess the findings and methodology of the recent stress tests on Europe’s 130 biggest banks in a debate with the European Commission and European Central Bank on Tuesday evening. These tests were the last hurdle to clear before starting up the new Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) for European banks.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 November
Procedure: Commission statement

#SSM #stresstests

Press release following hearing with chair ECB Supervisory Board and SSM, Ms Danièle Nouy

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands-North West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

 

Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following topics relating to human rights and democracy, in the morning on Thursday 27 November morning with the votes following around 12.00.

1. Pakistan: blasphemy laws
2. Serbia: the case of accused war criminal Šešelj
3. Iraq: Kidnapping and mistreatment of women


Debate: Thursday, 27 November
Vote: Thursday, 27 November
Procedure: non legislatives resolutions

#humanrights

Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands-North West)

 

Other Topics on the Agenda:

- 25th Anniversary of UN Convention on the rights of the child

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West)

 

- Commission statement on Digital Single Market

Irish MEPs on this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael (South)

 

- Implementation of the Employment Equality Directive

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands- North West)

 

- EU Strategic framework on health and safety at work 2014-2020

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands- North West), Nessa Childers, independent (Dublin), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)